A2.1. Maximising value

Maximising value

What should I expect the outcomes to be of using the tool?

Understanding value from the perspective of people who use our services is key to improving quality and safety and reducing costs. If we can understand what adds value, we can identify value in all our processes and pathways and maximise this value whilst minimising activities that are wasteful or do not add value.


There are five key steps to consider when maximising value

  1. Specify value from the perspective of people who use our services
  2. Identify the value within our processes
  3. Eliminate waste
  4. Minimise/improve the necessary, but non value adding activities
  5. Make the value flow

Tool/ method

Specify value and identify value

In order to specify and identify value we look at our activities from the perspective of the people who use our services: 



When reviewing our processes it can help to categorise activities as follows:

  • Value added activity – Any activity that takes materials or information and converts or transforms them in a way that meets patients’/customers’ needs.
  • Non-value added activity – Any activity that is needed due to the systems or processes in use today but that does not contribute any value to the service or to patient/customer satisfaction.
  • Waste activity – Activities, processes, time, materials, space, etc., that do not increase the value of the service and that are not needed for the system or process.


Why we may choose to use this tool/ method?

This is a key principle of the Cumbria Production System and underpins our approach to improvement. Cumbria Production System tools are based around understanding and maximising value from the perspective of people who use our services.

How you might use this tool/ method?

  • Taking time with your team/service to identifying value.
  • Talking to service users to gain there view on what they value.
  • Think about when you last went out for a meal or away to a hotel on holiday, or indeed an experience of yourself or family member in health or social care. What were the things that made that a good experience? What were the elements of real value and why. D o you know what your service users think about your service? If yes how did you find out, if not what might you do to understand this better?

What next?

Understanding and maximising waste by using the Waste Wheel, process mapping and value stream mapping and patient/customer journey maps.

Examples/ case studies/ links to best practice/ evidence

Quality and service improvement tools: lean

Contact for further information

Karen McAllister – CLIC Programme Manager


Templates and visualisations: